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Candida Fungal Infection

What are Candida infections?

Candida fungi, Candida albicans, C. auris and other human pathogenic yeasts, 3D illustration

Candida is a common fungus that is normally kept under control by a healthy immune system.

Candida is a type of fungus that is common in the body of healthy people. Most babies acquire Candida soon after birth.

They might develop a mild infection in the mouth called “thrush.” It looks like white spots on the tongue, palate, and inside the cheeks.

Candida is usually kept under control by good bacteria in the body and by a healthy immune system. Patients with low blood counts are at risk for a Candida infection. Use of antibiotics may also increase the risk of a Candida infection.

What is a Fungus?

A fungus is a primitive organism. Mushrooms, mold and mildew are examples. Fungi live in air, in soil, on plants and in water. Some live in the human body. Only about half of all types of fungi are harmful.

Source: medlineplus.gov

Shot of a young boy and his mother washing their hands in the bathroom sink at home stock photo

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent Candida infection.

How to prevent Candida

  • The best way to prevent Candida infection is to wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is especially important before caring for a central venous catheter (an IV line surgically placed in the chest area).
  • It is also important to keep the skin, mouth area, and diaper area clean and dry. Rashes and mouth sores could increase your child’s risk for Candida infections in the blood or other body organs.

Treatment for Candida infections

A Candida infection can develop in almost any part of the body. The first sign of a serious fungal infection is usually a fever that does not go away with antibiotics. The doctor will give your child an antifungal drug if needed.

For more information

If you have questions about Candida or fungal infections, please talk to your child’s care team.  

Key Points

  • Candida is a type of fungus that is common in the body. It is usually kept under control by good bacteria and a healthy immune system.
  • The best way to prevent a Candida infection is hand washing.
  • Your child might need an antifungal drug to fight off a Candida infection.


Reviewed: May 2022